sasol reaches new bee frontiers

Robert Laing

Robert Laing

Black South Africans will be able to buy Sasol shares for R366 each from its petrol station forecourts from May 22. The minimum subscription is 25 shares, or R9150, and there is a two-year lock-in period.

The synfuel giant announced further details to its proposed 10percent black economic empowerment yesterday, which at its current market capitalisation is valued at R26billion.

Three percent of these new preference shares will be offered to the black public. This will be managed by the National Empowerment Fund, which handled the Asonge offer of discounted MTN shares sold via Post Offices and was oversubscribed.

Nolitha Fakude, Sasol's executive director, said various retail partners including the Post Office may be used, but the group plans to primarily use its own forecourts to attract new shareholders.

The offer will be open for about six weeks.

Sasol has branded the deal "Inzalo". Fakude said this means birth, creation of life and new beginnings.

Christine Ramon, Sasol's chief financial officer, said the R366 offer price is the 60-day volume weighted average price up to March 18. This represents a 6percent discount from the R389 Sasol was trading at yesterday.

Four percent of the shares will be allocated to Sasol employees, 1,5percent to a foundation aimed at improving maths and science education, and 1,5percent to selected BEE partners.

Unlike the Asonge scheme, there is no limit to the amount of shares the black public can subscribe for. If the public offer is oversubscribed as happened with Asonge, a "bottom-up allocation at Sasol's discretion" will be used. This means people who subscribe for the 25 share minimum will have their shares allocated first.

Individuals will be allocated 60percent of the 16,1million Sasol shares being offered to the black public, and investment groups the remainder.

Pat Davies, Sasol's chief executive, said: "Sasol has set itself the goal of reaching as many people as possible and hopes that anywhere between 100000 to 200000 shareholders will participate through this invitation."